Not long ago our little daughter taught me something right in the middle of the night. She'd had a bad dream and came to wake me up because she was frightened. I assumed that she was afraid of imaginary faces, noises, or critters in her room. I assured her that everything was all right and that there wasn't anything in her room that could harm her. But she insightfully replied, "Mommy, it's my thinking!"
This caught my attention. It's not often that children recognize it's actually thoughts that frighten them rather than critters. She showed me she knew that if her thought weren't agitated, she obviously wouldn't be shaking me to wake me up. I comforted her accordingly.
And I've since realized even more how we're not scared by outside circumstances but rather by our thoughts and reactions. It's mentality that determines how we feel and act. Sickness, poverty, and hatred must be uprooted from thought if we want them to come to an end in our lives.
This can't be done through mere positive thinking or mental suggestion. Rather, it must be done on the basis of perceiving our relation to God. By learning more of the inseparable relationship we each have to God, our creator, we can turn to Him to purify thought. This destroys fear. It heals physically. It improves lives.
Christian Science presents seven prominent synonyms for God, derived from the Bible: Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love. Understanding God through these synonyms helps elucidate the divine nature and character. Mind expresses God as supreme intelligence. It shows that God is all-knowing. We can learn spiritually that, in fact, what God knows is His creation. He knows us because He creates us to express Him.
When our thinking expresses the divine Mind, our thoughts can only be good. Why? Because God is only good.
Obviously, though, human thoughts aren't always good. It may seem that something evil or dangerous is controlling our thinking. But by learning to understand God as divine Mind, and ourselves as man, Mind's immediate idea, or creation, we then discern that true thought, good thought, is always from God. Harmful thought is, in reality, baseless - and, moreover, can be replaced with the understanding of what is true and useful.
This means, for instance, that if we find we're fearful or hateful, we can wipe these thoughts from our consciousness by rejecting them and replacing them with what God is knowing. When we do this, we are praying.
Prayer is communing with God. It's talking with Him. Whether it's formal, petitional, or simply listening, it's effective if it allows us to hear what God is saying. Prayer may take place high on a quiet mountaintop or in a car during rush-hour traffic. Wherever we are, prayer is about listening to and following the thoughts God is always imparting to His creation.
We don't need to be afraid, because we can be healed through prayer of whatever needs healing in our lives. Once more, our lives are the products of our thoughts, and it's only by learning of God and His power - good and the power of good - that we can find true healing. The healings of Christ Jesus in the Bible are all examples of what prayer and spiritual understanding can accomplish in human life. Christian Science, discovered by Mary Baker Eddy, reveals the truth that Jesus promised would make us free.
If we yield to thoughts that don't reflect God, good, we'll feel prone to harm and destruction. However, if we yield ourselves only to thoughts that do reflect the divine Mind - listen for them, follow them - we'll see proof that we are actually one with God. Health, calm, and peace must follow.
The Bible says: "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee (Ps. 139:17,18). God's thoughts are precious. When thought dwells on good, we find God always with us, whatever we're doing, wherever we're going. No matter what the cause of fear may appear to be, and no matter how frightened we feel, yielding to God's goodness within wakens us to see Him ever present. And we find ourselves safe in His care.